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Witness to the ruins a lecture-performance with Mapa Teatro (2011)
  • Title: Witness to the ruins a lecture-performance with Mapa Teatro
  • Holdings: video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 02:04:35
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Date: 14 Oct 2011
  • Location: Performed and recorded at the Miller Theater and Wood Avery Auditorium at Columbia University in New York City on October 14, 2011, as part of the conference "Injured Cities : Urban Afterlives" held on October 14-15, 2011, hosted by Columbia University's Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference.
  • Type-Format: performance, lecture
  • Cast: Heidi Abderhalden and Rolf Abderhalden
  • Credits: Diana Taylor, Andreas Huyssen, commentators.

Witness to the ruins a lecture-performance with Mapa Teatro (2011)

This video recording broadcasts the presentation of archival documentation of ‘Witness of the Ruins’ by the Colombian collective Mapa Teatro as part of ‘Injured Cities: Urban Afterlives Conference,’ hosted by the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference at Columbia University. This conference, convened on the tenth anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001, aimed to explore the effects of catastrophe on cities and their inhabitants, to analyze the politics of shock and terror states use in response to their vulnerability, and to imagine more life-affirming modes of redress and re-invention. Mapa Teatro’s performance/lecture compiles personal and group experiences lived while working on four projects (Prometheus, Run-throughs, The Cleaning of the Stables of Augeas, and Witness to the Ruins) inspired and materialized during the gentrification process of the neighborhood of El Cartucho in Bogota. The many layers of archive and memory are embodied through the voices and bodies of Mapa Teatro’s directors, Rolf and Heidi Abderhalden, who show a ghostly screening of the documentation that remained after each project was created and performed, and remember the impact that they had on the families, the spectators, and themselves. The entire experience was possible because of the bonds established with the inhabitants of the neighborhood as well as the interest in creating a moving memorial monument against ‘the architecture of the emptiness.’ After presenting the fourth project, Rolf and Heidi sit down just to witness the last archive images displaying news about the new spaces that El Cartucho’s people are trying to occupy and the empty park built on the territory where the neighborhood was. In a constant reactivation of the archive, they insert themselves in the process of remembering what they do not want to forget: the living memory of human beings that cannot be erased. Q&A and comments by Diana Taylor and Andreas Huyssen accompany this performance/lecture.


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